Helga embraced American culture

Helga embraced American culture

This is an except from The Ruby Family Histories (2006), written from Helga Ruby's point of view. 

I really became an all-American girl and embraced American culture in a big way. I loved the Brooklyn Dodgers and went to a lot of games at Ebbets Field with Sandy Count and other guys. We loved the Dodgers because they were the underdogs against the hated Yankees, and because they were the team that brought Jackie Robinson, the first black player, into Major League Baseball.

I was also one of the bobby-soxers who screamed for Frank Sinatra outside the Roseland Ballroom when he sang there. I adored Frankie and his music for a long time.

From the time we landed in America, I refused to speak a word of German. I simply couldn’t stand the sound of the language, which reminded me of the Nazis, and wanted to wash away the terrible memories the language evoked in me.

My refusal to speak German was very hard on my mother whose English was, of course, much worse than my own. She sometimes pleaded with me to speak German with her, but I stubbornly refused to do so. In fact, I did not speak German again for many decades; only 30 or more years later when I accompanied Stan to conferences in Germany. I spoke German sometimes with Mike Kalvius, a physicist from Munich who was part Jewish.